Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Open Letter to a Troll

Dear Troll 'John Oputa':

Your attempts to troll are amusingly pathetic. At some point in time, I highly suggest that you pick up a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, a thesaurus, and the AP Style manual. Those three items will assist you dramatically.

Please, allow me to expound upon the reason why you are in need of these three books. You wrote:

Dear Miskell,Your earliest response would be appreciated on the regards.
I am Mr John Oputa, a legal practitioner in Togo Republic West Africa
and personal attorney to Engineer A.Miskell, a deceased client of mine
who died in a car accident along Kara express Road On the 21st of
April 2008, with, his wife and their only daughter.
I have contacted you to assist in the distribution of the funds left
valued at US$8.5 million.
For more explanations please reply to my private email

Yours faithfully

John Oputa.

Line one of your missive is a glaring error. The greeting of a letter is to be presented upon its own line. Additionally, your sentence is passive. If you are in the business of exhorting people to do things, you must use more active voice. As such, consider rephrasing the sentence thusly:

I would appreciate your earliest response on the matter.

Line two of your letter is simply atrocious. Mr. Oputa, if you are truly an educated man who is versed in English as well as your native language, you would have recognized that your run-on sentence is awkward to read, at best. If you wish to use this in the future, please, rephrase this into two separate sentences. This does not fatigue the reader's eye and maintains active voice. Maintaining active voice serves to engage your reader and makes them more pliant to your persuasions.

Additionally, Mr. Oputa, you failed to use proper punctuation in your title. This does not bode well for someone who is of your supposed level of education. I will not state the obvious errors you have made in capitalization, the use of comma-splicing, or your poor execution of conveying the urgency of the situation.

Line three of your letter is by far the most legible of the missive. At the same time, however, your passive voice continues to plague your writing. I will not insult your intelligence by presuming to give you a better phrasing. I am certain that this simple error is quite easily resolved with a little bit of thought.

Line four of your letter is marginally better then line three. Failure to use proper punctuation at the end of the line is something that I can forgive. Inserting e-mail addresses into the final clause of a sentence is difficult and can make punctuation problematic.

Mr. Oputa, your failure to impress me with your missive most assuredly means that you will fail to impress me in other areas. If you, an educated man, can not write a simple e-mail to me that properly expresses the urgency of your mission or presents a compelling argument for me to contact you, I highly doubt you can muster up anything truly of interest. If you wish to try again, I will be happy to assist you.

The fee for my services as a beta-reader and editor begins at $100/hr. This can be negotiated, provided you are accomplished enough in the language to engage in such a discussion. If you are unable to do so, Mr. Oputa, I would suggest that you speak with your colleague, the most unimpressively named Tom.

I am most disappointed. Mr. Oputa. If I were grading your work, I would give you an 'F' and have you re-write this letter until it is correct. At which time, I would then have you copy it thirty times, to ensure that the proper methodology of how to compose correspondence is burned into your feeble brain.

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